Many businesses in the tourism and hospitality industries focus on increasing visitors without putting much consideration into the value of repeat visitors – and wineries are no exception. However, repeat visitors are extremely valuable. They typically spend more than a first-time visitor and are more likely to refer your tasting room to people they know.
Repeat visitors are also more likely to follow and share your posts on social networks, as well as subscribe to newsletters and wine clubs. Essentially, they become fans who can provide you with free word-of-mouth marketing and steady revenue. Here’s an overview of a few of the most effective ways to keep your visitors coming back time after time.
Customer service seems obvious, but there are a surprising amount of businesses that make little to no effort to provide a high level of service to visitors! Much like dining at a restaurant, visitors want to have a sense of being cared for by personable, friendly staff. Visitors also want to feel that their patronage is appreciated – not taken for granted.
Spending extra effort to be warm and gracious while exceeding visitors’ expectations (rather than just making sure they’re merely satisfied) can go a long way in getting them to return and tell their friends about you.
Many people who visit tasting rooms are looking for more than just trying different wines; they want an experience. Otherwise, why travel to a winery when you could buy a few bottles and set up your own tasting at home? While events can be a bit labor-intensive, they have the benefit of attracting both local visitors and tourists. Even more importantly, having a variety of fun rotating events and activities is a great reason for people to consistently return.
Events can be as simple as offering wine and cheese pairings a couple times a month or something as involved as music or a local food and wine festival. You can offer tours of the winery that include a sneak peek at your winemaking process, tastings of a limited vintage, or classes on wine tastings and food pairing. Or, you could even have events and activities focused around a single type of wine to appeal to your visitors’ preferences.
Many people enjoy intimate settings and a feeling of exclusivity, so you could also offer special private events that keep group numbers low. Your events can also be tied to your wine club, with special activities for members only. Not only does this make it exclusive, but it also gives visitors more reason to join! Make sure to promote your events with your email and social media marketing or even through local business affiliations to maximize exposure.
Social media and email marketing
Even if you have a large customer base already, having a social media presence is essential. However, it’s not enough to set up an account a post a couple of times a year. Consistent posting gives people a connection to your brand, your wines, and your team. These are three important factors for ensuring visitor loyalty and encouraging them to return.
You can use your posts to explain more about your winemaking process, host virtual events, or promote your wine club and live events. It also gives you another way to show off your exceptional customer service when people ask questions or show enthusiasm for your tasting room. Be selective with what you post, and stay on point with your brand voice and messaging to make it even more effective. Many platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, also offer the ability to run ads and promotions that can be targeted directly to your account’s followers, as well as people they’re friends with.
Email marketing works similarly to social media and should be utilized concurrently with your other marketing efforts. Broadcast events, promote special sales, send out surveys, provide helpful or informative information, and keep visitors updated with what’s new at the tasting room. You can also segment out your emails to make sure that they’re going to the visitors who would find them most appealing.
Hopefully, these tips have given you a few ideas on how you can increase your repeat visitors! As you’ve seen, many of these tactics can (and should!) be used together to make your efforts even more effective.